Happy Birthday Gerry Mulligan!

Legendary saxophone player Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) would have turned 90 today (April 6th)! In commemoration of his birthday and Jazz Appreciation Month, we invite you to explore the Gerry Mulligan Collection at the Library of Congress. Below are links to the collection finding aid, articles, and some fun digital resources. If you have any reference questions, contact our music reference librarians via Ask a Librarian.

[Portrait of Gerry Mulligan, ca. 1980s], by William P. Gottlieb, William P. Gottlieb Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress

Selected Gerry Mulligan Resources at the Library of Congress

Biography

Digital Collection

Gerry Mulligan Collection Finding Aid

Timeline

Discography [by Gerard Dugelay, France and Kenneth Hallqvist, Sweden]

Gerry Mulligan Autobiography [Audio Recording]

*****

About the Gerry Mulligan Collection

As a saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader, Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) is a jazz legend. In the digital version of the Gerry Mulligan Collection, the Library of Congress is making available excerpts from his autobiography and selected scores and sound recordings. From his involvement in The Birth of the Cool recordings with Miles Davis, to his legendary “pianoless” quartet in 1951, to the creation of the sound known as “West Coast Jazz,” Mulligan played a vital role in the evolution of jazz. In addition to forming his own bands such as the Pianoless Quartet and the Concert Jazz Band (with other renowned jazz artists such as Chet Baker, Art Farmer, and Bob Brookmeyer), he also collaborated with many prominent musicians during his career such as Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, Astor Piazolla, and Dave Grusin. A versatile musician, Mulligan also composed music for films and symphony orchestras.

The Library of Congress serves as the repository for the Gerry Mulligan Collection, which it obtained in the late 1990s. Consisting of approximately 700 items, the collection includes original scores, lead sheets, sketches, arrangements and parts, photographs, sound recordings, correspondence and papers relating to different concerts and projects, and an oral autobiography which Mulligan recorded shortly before he died. In this initial Web offering, the Library of Congress is making available excerpts from his autobiography and selected scores and sound recordings. Additional items from the Mulligan Collection will be added to this site in the near future.

Other sound recordings and photographs that are not expressly in the Mulligan Collection are also available on loc.gov to further illustrate portions of Mulligan’s life and career. Information on the provenance of these items is in the bibliographic record for each item.

2 Comments

  1. Larry Cohn
    April 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    When I was head of CBS/Epic Records, I tried to sign Gerry. Unfortunately, the “powers” were not interested and in the end, I had to shamefully tell Gerry that CBS Records was not interested in doing anything with him. One of the truly low points of my career in the music business!

  2. Ara
    April 7, 2017 at 5:04 am

    I do feel your pain Larry. Those were some sad, unenlightened times though.
    Let us celebrate his life and music now.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.